Everything You Need to Do in Detroit This Winter

Updated On 12/22/2017 at 05:18PM EST Updated On 12/22/2017 at 05:18PM EST
Monster Jam
Monster Jam | Monster Jam
Sunday - Sunday
Dec 23-Mar 11
Cranbrook Art Museum
This traveling exhibit features the entire collection of works made by painter Jean-Michel Basquiat while the artist lived in New York. Take time to enjoy the exhibit and then wander the beautiful and tranquil space that is the grounds of Cranbrook.
Cost: $6-$10
Wednesday - Sunday
Dec 26-Mar 11
Various locations
Whether it’s a trip to the new Founders taproom, Joebar in newly (and somewhat oddly) happenin’ Hazel Park, or the highly anticipated Lady of the House… or really any other number of restaurants that have popped up in town over the past few months. Seriously, don’t worry about your waistline. Enjoy the gluttony. Bikini bodies are overrated, and you won’t see a beach till June anyway.
Cost: Varies by restaurant
Wednesday - Thursday
Dec 26-Mar 1
Kensington Metro Park
Don’t let Old Man Winter get the best of you; get out and enjoy it at a place like Kensington, where there’s an actual toboggan run (put on your favorite Bob Marley shirt and get down like it’s 1993), places to ice skate, cross-country ski, or just enjoy the solitude of a winter’s day. You can even kayak down the Huron River if you’re really that immune to the cold -- you probably aren’t, but it’d be a lot cooler if you were.
Cost: $10 daily per vehicle or $35 annual vehicle permit
Jan 8
PJ's Lager House
Get bent at Sailor’s Mouth Yoga where you can expect a solid stream of the very vulgarities that you’ve never felt comfortable uttering in a yoga class. And after you’re sufficiently stretched and cussed, obviously the Lager House will provide you with everything you need to “retox” your body.
Cost: $7
Saturday - Sunday
Jan 13-28
Cobo Center
Want to see if they’ll actually make a Delorean before the world ends? The North American International Auto Show is the place to do it and stay on top of the rest of the auto world’s annual trends. This is about as “red carpet” as Detroit gets, attracting visitors from all over the world.
Cost: $14
Jan 20
Royal Oak Farmers Market
If there’s one thing that helps the winter go by, it’s beer: glorious, sudsy, exotic, mind-altering beer. Polar Beer Club gives you the chance to sample more than 100 local and regional craft beers. With live music and plenty of food, this is one solid way to keep warm in the dead of winter.
Cost: $45
Jan 26
Campus Martius
Campus Martius turns into a spectacle of heated tents, musicians, and hot beverages galore for the Meridian Winter Blast. There’s a polar plunge (aka diving into a pool of freezing water) for the people who are actually crazy, then there’s normal-person activities such as roasting marshmallows and ice skating. No, really, it’s actually fun to go outside in the winter. Try it!
Cost: $3 or free with donated canned goods to any Chemical Bank
Friday - Saturday
Jan 26-27
Hill Auditorium (University of Michigan Campus)
Hippies and folksters unite! Featuring well-known as well as up-and-coming talent, the Ann Arbor Folk Festival has been running since 1977, wth this year’s headliners including Jason Isbell, John Prine, and Aimee Mann. The two-day event takes place in one of the best-sounding venues this side of the Crofoot, so West-siders and otherwise should make certain to hit this fest at least once.
Cost: $42.50-$60
Jan 27
Lake St. Clair Metropark
All counts say this is going to be a solid, old-school style winter -- you know, the old days when it used to actually get cold and stay cold long enough to enjoy it. The event was cancelled last year due to exceptionally warm temps, but we hope to hell it goes on this year. Hosted by classic rock station WCSX, you can (and should) expect lots of Foreigner blasting out of Big Three pickup trucks, Budweiser, and, of course, some fishing. Lake St. Clair may be the most epic of all ice shantytown locations. See who takes home “the big one” this year and freeze your tush off while doing it.
Cost: $25-$30
Ray Akey Photography/Shutterstock
Feb 2
Redford Theatre
Let’s be honest: We’re trying to give you hope here, but it’s going to be a long winter, so why not laugh it off? Hang at the incredibly beautiful and restored classic Redford Theatre, catch a showing of Groundhog Day, and remember how awesome comedies were back in the ’90s.
Cost: $5
Feb 3
Ford Field
If the ice fishing fest wasn’t hillbilly enough for you, there’s always the Monster Jam to make up for it. Barbarian, Bounty Hunter, and Gravedigger will take you out of the winter blues with their four-wheeled antics, and if you’ve never been to a monster truck rally before, you probably a) have all your teeth, and b) are still not quite complete as a human. Watching absurdly large trucks rolling over junk cars is something that unites us as Americans -- or the very least, satisfies our craving for over-the-top entertainment and loud noises.
Cost: $15-$75
Thursday - Sunday
Feb 8-11
Detroit Opera House
February is the month of love -- or, rather, the month of "hopefully you can find someone to snuggle up with because it’s so butt-wrenching cold." Fortunately, though, the Opera House will be hosting a ballet version of Romeo & Juliet, which is the perfect opportunity to get cultured. If the thought of watching Shakespeare as ballet makes you groan, perhaps you would just be better off nursing bed sores on the couch, you grouch.
Cost: $39-$139
Feb 16
Detroit Symphony Orchestra
Le Ciné Cube is an evening of short films (French, to be exact -- but don’t worry, they are silent) accompanied by the interpretation of the Andrew Alden Ensemble. Chamber music and silent films in the dead of winter -- try it. It’ll be awesome.
Cost: Free
Friday - Saturday
Feb 9-17
Russell Industrial Complex
The 19th annual erotic art gathering will feature live performances and lots of genitalia-shaped memorabilia. Not sold yet? There are also go-go dancers, cocktails (heh), and plenty of one-of-a-kind works of art for you to gawk at -- or better yet, buy.
Cost: $30